Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fateful by Claudia Gray

HarperTeen, 2011

Tess knows she wants more out of life, but also knows there's a slim chance that will ever happen.  So she's  content for now with her position at Moorcliffe as an attendant to Irene, the only daughter of the wealthy Lisle family.  But one errand will open the door to another life, one more dark and sinister than Tess could have imagined.

Trying to get back to the manor as quickly as she can, Tess realizes something is following her, but the intervention of a handsome stranger creates a barrier that saves her.  When she turned around, she saw the feral eyes of a large black wolf, ready to hunt....

For days afterward, all Tess can think about is the handsome stranger who saved her life.  His cryptic warnings of danger cannot overcome the thoughts that lurk in Tess's mind.  But the drudgery of her job working for the terrible Lady Regina dispels those thoughts....until Tess realizes she'll be part of the Lisle family going to America.

Tess's excitement at the prospect of traveling by ship to America is full of promise, as well as the hope she can escape her servanthood and find herself in a new country.  The excitement grows even more when she also spots the handsome Alec, who saved her that fateful night.  But there is another sinister, dark man also watching her every move....

And so everyone prepares to board the Titanic one very fateful day. 

I picked this book up from a recommendation of a student, who loved this book.  So I set aside the analytical librarian book reviewer part of it and ready it like a teen girl.  Then I understood why she loved it so much. 
The characters Gray creates are vibrant, but more than that, the relationships, both troubling and romantic, draws the reader in.  What a genius idea of pairing supernatural beings like werewolves with a historic disaster like the Titanic.  It's a supernatural historical fiction plot I've never heard of. And that's what the hook is....The reader is left with the question of who survives and who dies.  Teens who enjoy supernatural romance will eat this book up and would be a nice addition among all the vampires, ghosts, angels and ghouls.

COMMON CORE PAIR: Iceberg Right Ahead!: the tragedy of the Titanic by Stephanie McPherson.  Minneapolis: 21st Century Books, 2012

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